THE LEGEND OF GOG AND MAGOG
Everything’s been said about Gog & Magog is mentioned here; almost. From Qur’an, Bibles, and ancient texts & lost fragments, still A big mystery, one thing for sure “They are coming back”
An Islamic point of view of gog and magog in the modern world
The sons of Japeth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
And the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
And the sons of Javan: Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
Gomer and all his hordes; the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north,
and all his hordes; even many peoples with thee.
Then the nations will know that I the LORD sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is in the midst of them for evermore.
The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn you about, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords . . .
And come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army; you will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land.
In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
“Thus says the Lord GOD: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them?
But on that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says the Lord GOD, my wrath will be roused.
For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground.
I will summon every kind of terror against Gog, says the Lord GOD; every man’s sword will be against his brother.
With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples that are with him, torrential rains and hailstones, fire and brimstone.
So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.
Ezekiel 39:1 And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal . . .
Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years.
And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.
And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
These, the first known mentions of the names Gog and Magog, occur in the Bible and are brief, jumbled and vague. Some of the place-names can be tentatively identified: Madai may be Media, and the words Meshech and Tubal seem to appear in Assyrian inscriptions as ‘Muschu’ and ‘Tabal’. Names change and place-names change and the whole matter may be apocryphal anyway.
Any place north of the Holy Land may be the land of Gog and Magog; Gog may be a person and Magog a nation; the Magog of the Genesis reference is certainly a person (the descendent of Noah through Japeth) but the Magog of the other references is apparently a nation or tribe. Take your pick.
. . . But, for some reason, ‘Gog and Magog’ became a nation or nations, with a life of their own, separate from their Biblical source. They passed into the romantic legends of Alexander the Great, which have been rife in Asia since the time of Alexander himself. They appear in the Koran, which has its own version of the Gog and Magog story; from these sources, they spread into common currency and become part of the Old World’s travel myths–fables that spread among educated men, during those centuries when most of the earth was still terra incognita.
Here is the first form of the legend. Before about 500 AD, references to Gog and Magog occur many times, in the preserved sermons and letters of St Jerome and other early Christians; whenever Christendom was threatened by invaders, the names of Gog and Magog seem to have been bandied about.
There is evidence of a lively debate on just whom was meant by Gog and Magog: when the Scythians threatened, it was the Scythians; when the Huns threatened, it was the Huns; and when the Alans threatened, someone would call the Alans ‘Gog and Magog’; so too with the Khazars, the Turks, the Magyars, the Parthians, the Mongols. Marco Polo in the thirteenth century thought that Gog and Magog must be represented by the Mongol horde which had just conquered most of the East . . . And so on, and so on–presumably, just as a present-day demagogue might say: “So-and-so is the Antichrist!” or, perhaps, “America is the Great Satan!” Gog and Magog were the enemy beyond the gate–just waiting to pounce.
This state of affairs continued about the end of the 17th century, at which time the legend of Gog and Magog died away; today it is largely forgotten. And the reason for this? Until the 17th century, Asia for Europeans was terra incognita.
The Christians of Europe were certain that the land of Gog and Magog lay somewhere to the northeast; after the 17th century, Europeans began to travel in Asia and write accounts of their experiences . . . and as they explored, they pushed back the location of Gog and Magog’s land until at last it was fairly certain there was no Gog and Magog’s land; and once that became known, the legend ceased to be told.
And the reason that Europeans did not travel in Asia? Well, the East was vast, and the trade routes across it were guarded by Persian and Arab merchants; the Christians of Rome and Byzantium never got much further than the Holy Land. After the time of the Prophet (in the seventh century) the Islamic revolution swept across all Persia–almost in an eyeblink against the map of the centuries.
Christians were not welcome in Muslim lands; the Zoroastrian and Buddhist peoples of Persia fled into India and the Himalayas; the Jews coexisted with the Muslims, basing themselves around Baghdad. In the north, the Islamic armies swept up into the present-day Soviet republics . . . and were turned back by formidable land barriers–deserts, seas, mountains ranges galore, arranged in a de facto wall encircling Persia.
These mountains and deserts and seas were not impassable–for caravan travel and small parties on horseback and camelback. But the only portal for armies was the Gate of Gates, through the area between the Black and Caspian seas. This strait was mostly blocked by the Caucasus mountains; today, the remnants of fortifications can be found everywhere in the area; but at two points, the mountain barrier could be easily crossed.
Here, at the Caucasus, the Muslims ran smack into the empire of Khazaria. This nation, largely forgotten by history, seems to have been peopled by nomadic horsemen descended from the Huns, numerous enough and fierce enough to turn back the Muslims and retain their territory; at its height, the Khazar empire stretched from the rivers Volga to the Don and controlled the Caspian (then called the Khazar Sea) and the Caucasus mountains and large stretches of the northern coast of the Black Sea.